Macropanesthia rhinoceros (rhinoceros cockroach)

Macropanesthia rhinoceros, the Australian rhinoceros cockroach is also known as the litter bug or giant burrowing cockroach.

Endemic to Australia Macropanesthia rhinoceros is the heaviest cockroach species on earth. Macropanesthia rhinoceros, lives in burrows that it carves out itself.

They hiss when disturbed, when courting and when fighting. Fighting is commonest between adult males. Each male lowers his pronotum, the plate above his head, and then butt each other. The loser often gets turned over.

Species detail

The heaviest recorded rhinoceros cockroach individual was a female, probably pregnant, which weighed 33.45g (1.18oz). This is about 558 times heavier than the common pest German cockroach (Blattella germanica). 

Adult male rhinoceros cockroaches can measure up to 85mm (3.35in) in length and females are slightly smaller. Usually adult rhinoceros cockroaches weigh around 19g (0.67oz).

  • Distribution and habitat

    Discover the area of Australia in which you can find the rhinoceros cockroach and learn about the types of habitat it enjoys, as well as the feature that all of its habitats have in common.

  • Biology

    Rhinoceros cockroaches live in permanent burrows, only leaving their burrows for food or, in the case of the males, to mate. Learn more about the biology of Macropanesthia rhinoceros.

  • Behaviour

    Rhinoceros cockroaches live in permanent burrows and are usually solitary feeding on dry plant debris such as dead leaves. They hiss when disturbed, when courting and when fighting. Find out more about the fascinating behaviour of the Rhinoceros cockroaches.

  • References

    Get reference material for Macropanesthia rhinoceros.


Macropanesthia rhinoceros male

Macropanesthia rhinoceros male